Recovery Underway for Progressive Conservatives in Alberta

More than a third of voters are undecided, and provide nuanced views on the first few weeks of the Jim Prentice government.

Calgary, AB – The Progressive Conservative Party is once again the most popular in Alberta’s political scene, a new Insights West poll has found.

The online survey of a representative sample of Albertans also outlines a drop in support for the opposition Wildrose Party, as well as lower numbers on approval and momentum for leader Danielle Smith.

Voting and Leaders

Across the province, 35% of decided voters (+14 since an Insights West poll conducted in April) would cast a ballot for the governing Progressive Conservatives if an election took place tomorrow.

The Wildrose Party is second with 29% (-21), followed by the New Democratic Party (NDP) with 16% (unchanged) and the Liberal Party with 15% (+4). It is important to note that more than a third of Albertans (37%) are currently undecided.

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The Progressive Conservatives have regained the top spot among voters aged 55 and over (46%, compared to 28% for Wildrose). The governing party is also ahead among voters aged 35 to 54 (37% to 27%). The NDP is strongest among voters aged 18 to 34 (28%).

The approval rating for Premier and Progressive Conservative leader Jim Prentice is 46%, with one-in-four Albertans (26%) disapproving of his performance.

The numbers have changed drastically for Wildrose Party leader Danielle Smith. In April, 60% of Albertans approved of her performance. Now, that proportion has dropped to 38%. The rating is lower for Liberal leader Raj Sherman (29%) and NDP leader Rachel Notley (27%).

The momentum score is positive for both Prentice (+8) and Notley (+3), and negative for Sherman (-5). One third of Albertans (33%) say their opinion of Smith has worsened over the past six months, giving her a momentum score of -29.

Issues and Government Performance

Health care (31%, +2) continues to be seen as the most important issue facing Alberta, followed by accountability (17%, -5), the economy and jobs (10%, -1) and housing, poverty and homelessness (also 10%, =).

The best rated areas for the provincial government are the economy and jobs (38%) and energy and pipelines (35%). Three-in-ten Albertans (31%) are also satisfied with education, crime and public safety and government accountability. Fewer residents think the government is performing well on health care (25%), the environment (23%) and housing, poverty and homelessness (19%)

“As the Prentice era starts, many Albertans are still making up their minds about where things stand,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “There is a large proportion of undecided respondents on how specific files are being handled, and a third of people who voted for the Alison Redford-led Progressive Conservatives in 2012 are undecided at this stage.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary and has seventeen employees.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from November 28 to December 1, 2014, among 612 residents of Alberta who are aged 18+ and are Your Insights panel members. YourInsights.ca is Insights West’s in-house access panel offering on-demand samples for both clients and research suppliers looking for Western Canadian populations. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. While statistical margins of error are arguably not applicable to online panels/online studies of this nature, we have assumed that the same margins of error apply as if it were a true unweighted random probability sample with a margin of error of +/- 3.9 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. To view the detailed data tabulations, click here.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

 

Photograph: manningcentre